Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month is here. Observed annually from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, it marks the four-week time period where all Americans are encouraged to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions Latinx and Hispanic communities made to the United States’ cultural fabric. To honor this special time in the year, Instagram’s @shop launched its own Latinx Heritage Month initiative. For the rest of September and through October, the social media account will spotlight five emerging brands owned and operated by members of these communities.
According to the @shop’s rollout schedule for the month, September is going to be all about fashion. The shopping discovery account will spotlight three brands that work across clothing, accessory, and jewelry categories. It’s worth noting that all brands featured in this initiative are owned and operated by Latina women working to share their craftsmanship and incorporate elements of their culture into wearable pieces. “I hope that by showcasing my entrepreneurial story on Instagram, I can inspire others to follow their dreams,” Luiny Rivera, founder of participating jewelry brand Luiny, tells TZR.
Being a minority entrepreneur comes with challenges — and supporting the small brands through shopping is an easy way to begin to get involved. “I think sometimes Latin America can feel a little bit distant and disconnected,” Mola Sasa Founder Yasmin Sabet tells TZR. “While it has been a constant source of inspiration and it has given me all the resources to create this incredible work, I do feel sometimes that not being in a place where a lot of things are happening at once in terms of culture, art, fashion, and technology can be a challenge for a small brand that is looking to sell outside of its country of origin.”
Sabet also notes that it takes effort and perseverance to gain visibility outside of your country of origin. Luckily for both shoppers and emerging brands out there, social media platforms like Instagram make this journey a little easier for budding fashion entrepreneurs. Scroll ahead to take a look at and shop the Latina-owned brands participating in Instagram’s latest initiative, below.
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Sisters Sabrina and Particia Tachdjian came together to launch this Afro-Latinx, Uruguay-based label in 2017. The duo places great emphasis on the quality of Tach Clothing, focusing on handmade and ethically produced pieces. “We work with 200 women in Uruguay that, for example, do crochet at their homes,” Sabrina Tachdjian shares. “These ladies are really grateful for their work and tell us all the time how they love what they do, and it is really pleasant for our soul to do what we love and listen to these women who love to knit. Some of them live near Montevideo, [Uruguay’s capital], and others in rural places all over Uruguay.”
Since the launch, the brand’s garments have been spotted on celebs like Rosalía and BLACKPINK’s Rosé. “[Rosalía] contacted us via direct messages on Instagram, and I couldn't believe it! I am a fan of her music and her style,” Tachdjian recalls. “After that, she took the time to share the photo that paparazzi took of her in our clothes with us; she’s really sweet and humble.”
This New York-based brand collaborates directly with various indigenous communities of Colombia to translate their traditional art forms and crafts into wearable accessories and home decor. “From the onset, I knew that I wanted to work with artisans and especially with women, and I knew this meant that we had to be socially responsible,” Mola Sasa Founder Yasmin Sabet tells TZR. “I also knew I wanted to create pieces that told stories and could be treasured because the amount of work they entailed was significant and unique. I think this transpires in everything we do.” The brand’s designs are a unique blend of techniques, colors, textures, and materials that channel Colombia’s rich cultural and ethnic variety — so you can expect to see an array of unconventional textiles and decorative patterns featured on its products.
Additionally, Mola Sasa is planning to release a Latinx Heritage Month-themed surprise later this month — so take note and follow the brand’s Instagram page to keep abreast of the latest updates.
Luiny’s Instagram page can be best described as part jewelry shop, part mood board-style social media account. The brand’s founder, Luiny Rivera, is a Puerto Rico-born, self-taught designer who focuses on creating distinctive pieces that are minimal and eye-catching at the same time. “When I first started playing around with jewelry design, I was working at a fashion retail store which produced a lot of waste by means of broken accessories like necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc,” Rivera tells TZR. “I started upcycling these loose pieces, which would otherwise end up in the garbage, turning them into new, original designs. People liked them, they were unique and colorful, and so soon I found myself selling at artisan markets in Puerto Rico.”
Eleven years later, the designer is now creating Luiny designs in her very own New York City studio. Rivera’s entrepreneurial journey wasn’t without its challenges — the budding jewelry designer struggled with finding her space in the industry and making it in such a big city. “Fast forward to present time and everybody loves color — and I’m proud to be a trendsetter and introduce Caribbean culture in the jewelry business.”